MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -
The Alabama Education Association responded Thursday to the new ethics laws passed by the legislature during the Special Session
"I felt that the session may have been a rouse for passage of some legislation that people thought that they otherwise could not have gotten passed" said Paul Hubbert, the Executive Secretary of the AEA. "And that's the payroll deduction bill of course that affected us."
According to Hubbert, the group has had to come up with new methods for collecting its dues. It has been working with members to transfer part of their paychecks, without the state's assistance.
Hubbert also said it had no choice but to release some staff since money it used to get from those payroll deductions isn't coming in. Staff from the AEA's polling and research center were told to not come into work. They were paid severance.
"The survey and research center staff were put in other positions while we make this transition. Once the transition is made we assume we'll go back and reopen the center."
Hubbert said the group has gained more members since the law passed.
Republican leaders have said continuously that the state should play no part in helping political groups obtain dues.
House Speaker Mike Hubbard (R - Auburn) said after the Special Session, "The question is, 'is it ethical for the taxpayers of Alabama to bear the cost of collecting money that is used for political purposes?' I think the answer to that is no."
Hubbert with AEA is optimistic his group will be O. K.
"I think we're going to be stronger than ever when this is completed."
The polling center is expected to reopen.
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